Since our travel to Italy could be considered a once in a lifetime trip, I want to break up my posts about it in order to really document our entire adventure. There are so many more pictures and thoughts and memories than I could ever even begin to share but I want to take a crack at describing some of it for those who are interested or may potentially travel to Italy in the future. While I have so many more photos from our time, I'm highlighting some of my favorites in these blog posts!
First up: Naples!
The friends we were visiting actually live in Naples, (or Napoli as the locals call it) so while we did spend a good amount of time in Naples, we didn't see a ton of it....mostly because we had so much other ground to cover and well, Naples is not the most attractive city that Italy has to offer!
When we arrived we were greeted with the first of what would be many other helpings of prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella and a caprese salad. I can not even describe to you how much better these ingredients were over there. I have had both of these before but nothing has compared to how stuff tasted while we were over there!
On our first day in Italy we walked around downtown Naples to see some sights and hunt down Pizzeria Brandi where pizza was invented. We found the Museo Capella and saw the statue of the Veiled Christ which was pretty amazing and also happened onto another church that had an AMAZING interior (shown below.) It didn't look like much on the outside but wow, the inside was stunning.
We also saw the Castle Nuovo (not to be confused with Castle Del Ovo...they sound very similar in Italian) which was also pretty incredible. Although my memory might fail me, I am pretty sure this is the first castle I have been in and I was incredibly moved by the history and architecture. While we walked around it was so easy to imagine what it must have been like during its day. To see something that grand and that old in the middle of a city was like nothing I had experienced before. I had no idea what was in store for me during the rest of the trip!
Some interesting observations/experiences from my first 24 hours in Italy:
- The drivers are maniacs. Ok, maybe thats a little harsh, but the driving is VERY different. There aren't any rules and people kind of just do what they want on the road and you just have to deal with it. You hesitate, you loose. Pedestrians just walk in front of cars, cars pull out in front of other cars. Stop signs don't mean anything and people drift from lane to lane or just drive for miles in BOTH lanes. Some people go 40mph while others go 100. CRAZY. I am so glad we were not in charge of getting ourselves around. I'm sure we could have done it, but it would have been much more stressful!!
- The coffee and the experience around coffee is just out of this world. It is NOTHING like it is here in the states. Starbucks is not to be found anywhere in Italy.
- Italians are not big on forming lines, they kind of just group together in an unorganized fashion.
- Naples is basically run by the mob. Its a relatively unsafe place to live and robberies are common. Security systems, shutters and gates are essential.
- No eggs and bacon for breakfast. The most common type of breakfast is a sweet pastry like a chocolate croissant. That may sound great, but five days in and your breakfast tummy is screaming for some protein!
- Water is not a given in restaurants. You want water, you pay for a nice big glass bottle and make sure to specify sparkling or still!
***That last photo is the view from my friends balcony off the back of their house. Beautiful sunset and you can faintly see the intense security gate.
All images (with the exception of random iPhone images) taken with:
Canon 6D | 24-105mm f/4.0 lens